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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was forward.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Progressive Conservative MP for Brandon—Souris (Manitoba)

Won his last election, in 2000, with 37% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Young Offenders Act November 25th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, I am perfectly aware of the meeting on December 4 with the provincial ministers and the self-congratulatory fashion in which the minister deals with it.

I would to like to ask, however, if those provinces decide not to administer that program on the Young Offenders Act, what contingency plans does the minister have to carry on with those particular programs without the provinces?

Young Offenders Act November 25th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.

The Manitoba government has brought to the minister's attention on a number of occasions the effects of the reduction of the federal Young Offenders Act cost sharing program to the provinces.

Current federal contributions will only amount to 33.8% of the total cost in Manitoba, 22% in British Columbia and 30% in Newfoundland.

My question is this. Is the federal government going to put its money where its mouth is and start getting tough on young offenders or is it going to continue to download those costs to the provinces?

Supply November 25th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, once again the rhetoric coming from the hon. member for Calgary Southeast is rather enjoyable. I am sure the hon. member realizes that from a unity perspective the Progressive Conservative government had a much better understanding of the Quebec issues than does the Reform Party.

As for consultation, we have always said that the consultative process is a keystone of bringing Quebeckers into the federation of Canada.

Make no mistake. Federation in Canada is 10 provinces. No one province is more equal than another province. We recognize in our own policy that all provinces have to work together to make the federation stronger.

That is what we wish to do with the province of Quebec. That is what we wish to do with the consultative process in Quebec. We believe very strongly in that. We do not believe in divisiveness. We do not believe in intimidation. We do not believe in the 20 point plan put forward in the last election which said that it was their way or the highway.

Supply November 25th, 1997

I see. Things have changed quite dramatically since 1995.

The motives I am afraid are not acceptable to the Progressive Conservative Party and our members will not be supporting the resolution put forward by the Reform Party.

Supply November 25th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, I would be more than happy to have this document passed on to the hon. member. It is an article from the Calgary Sun dated October 30, 1995.

Supply November 25th, 1997

Yes, I supported distinct society and I do now. In fact, Quebec is distinct. It is very distinct and unique, as are all provinces of this country very distinct and unique. There are no special powers but they are distinctive nonetheless. We accept bilingualism. We accept the fact that they speak a different language. We accept the fact that there is distinctiveness in Quebec.

I would like to bring to the attention of the House an ad campaign during the last election. The ad campaign said quite emphatically, “Do you want any more leaders from Quebec? We do not want any more leaders from Quebec”. This is the same party which now wants to consult with Quebeckers about the types of leadership we should have in this country? I think not.

I do not believe the motives of the Reform Party. I have some serious concerns about them. As a matter of fact, a high level staffer in the Reform Party issued in the Calgary Sun of October 30 ten different resolutions, one which suggested “Eliminate bilingualism and multiculturalism. With Quebec gone the rationale for bilingualism and multiculturalism would go too”. To me this does not speak of a resolution put forward for consultation—

Supply November 25th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Quebec for sharing his speaking time for a member and a colleague from western Canada to speak to an issue I consider to be of utmost national significance.

I am pleased to be in this House to see the transformation from a cocoon to a butterfly of the Reform Party. It is now putting forward its position on national unity. A short six months ago the positions taken with respect to national unity by hon. colleagues from the Reform Party were not quite as positive as the position now being put forward in this House.

It is no secret that the Progressive Conservative Party believes very strongly in the federation of Canada. It believes very strongly in ten provinces and two territories. It believes this country has everywhere to go in the future to ensure we embrace the national unity of the federation and to make sure we have ten solid provinces and two solid territories.

I can speak to the experience and the confidence of the leader of our party. It was the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party who brought this country back from the abyss. In the last referendum he was called upon because there was no leadership from the Liberal government. He was called upon to make sure this country did stay together. There is a majority in Quebec that wants to remain Canadian and it will do so.

The policy of the Progressive Conservative Party has always been one of consultation, conciliation and understanding unlike the policies of the Reform Party.

The Calgary declaration is embraced and accepted by the Progressive Conservative Party. It is nice to see there is leadership in this country beyond that of the federal Liberal government which has not given any indication of leadership. The premiers of the provinces had to sit down to put forward a plan, the Calgary declaration. They had to come forward to say that this question is of such importance we have to deal with it ourselves without the leadership of the federal Liberal government. I am thankful for the Calgary declaration which we embrace and I thank the premiers.

I will discuss the Jekyll and Hyde transformation of the Reform Party. A short six months ago during the election campaign the Reformers stated quite emphatically that Quebeckers do not know how to solve the unity crisis. The motion which is before us specifies that the Reform Party wants to consult with the people of Quebec. There is the Jekyll and Hyde. I would like to know the motivation behind this particular motion.

I would also like to discuss distinct society and unique society. All of a sudden it seems that Reform members have this wonderful transformation and unique society is something they can accept. I fought in the trenches during the last election campaign and I can say that distinct society was a major issue. It was an issue which the Reformers used as a cheap political trick to push hot buttons in western Canada.

I would like to remind the House of the motives—

Supply November 25th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the hon. member. As part of the hon. member's policy and platforms it is the position of Reformers that they consult with their constituents. If the constituents do not agree with the motions or the suggestions put on the table, those members vote with the constituents.

Has the member consulted with his constituents of Edmonton—Strathcona? In the last election campaign that position was not put forward by the Reform or the people who supported his party.

Has he consulted with his constituents? If he has, what is their answer? If the answer is not in support of the motion, is it a fact that he would then vote against it?

Curling November 24th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to inform the House of a great Canadian contribution to the sport of curling.

Next year in Nagano, Japan the Winter Olympics will include curling as a medal sport. This week in Brandon, Manitoba, my hometown, Canada is choosing its men's and women's representatives for those Olympics.

Canadians are being treated to the most awesome display of curling talent ever assembled under one roof. Canada's ten best men and ten best women's rinks are competing for the honour to be called Canadian Olympians. Needless to say I do have a provincial bias as four of those teams come from Manitoba. Nevertheless when the victors are crowned this weekend, regardless of what province they come from they will have the support of all Canadians in their quest for gold.

Congratulations to the Brandon organizing committee's President Pam Horn and the 900 volunteers who are once again showcasing southwestern Manitoba and the sport of curling. Brandon has earned its reputation as a host community and the distinction of the curling capital of Canada.

Canadian Wheat Board Act November 20th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, once again I am pleased to speak to the amendments. We are now debating Group No. 4. In this grouping our party has two amendments. I will speak to those amendments as well as others. These amendments have been grouped together, as a number of them work in conjunction with each other.

There are two areas in this legislation about which I am concerned. One of the areas has been dealt with to a certain degree and we will get to it a little later when we debate the amendment with respect to the inclusion clause. Exclusion and inclusion are very serious components of this legislation and should be amended in order to improve the legislation.

The second area about which I have very serious concerns is the governing section of the legislation. There have been substantial improvements put forward in this legislation which improve the existing governance of the Canadian Wheat Board.

For those who do not know, the current governance of the Canadian Wheat Board consists of a membership board, a commission if you will, with a maximum of five commissioners. Currently there are three commissioners acting as the head of the Canadian Wheat Board. There is also an advisory board. The advisory board is made up of elected representatives, but the advisory board has absolutely no power. It is a eunuch. It simply advises not only the commissioners but the minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board.

As proposed, this legislation would improve that governance. In fact, there would be 10 elected board members out of the 15 who will comprise the membership of the Canadian Wheat Board. Ten will be elected and five will be appointed.

In our motion we have proposed a change to make it a fully democratic board of 15 elected members. There is no reason the government should have any objection to having a fully accountable board of directors elected by the producers.

A precedent has already been set with respect to this type of governance. The Ontario wheat board has a fully elected board of directors. It makes sense that a parallel organization, the Canadian Wheat Board, should have elected members.

The government will say because it has certain requirements and certain guarantees that are outstanding for the Canadian Wheat Board that it has to have five appointed members of which one is the chief executive officer. That is absolute hogwash. It is not necessary.

As part of governance there is a manager, a chief executive officer, referred to in the legislation as president. The president under this legislation will be appointed by the government and the minister.

I can say from experience I have had in the House over the very short period of time that the government has not given us an awful lot confidence in those people it will be appointing to the position of chief executive officer.

There have been examples of people who do not understand the business of being appointed as chief executive officer. This is not the chairman of the board. This is not a board member. This is the individual who is going to be taking a corporation from the year 1997 into the 21st century. Here is an individual who has to have an awful lot of business acumen, understanding of the business, understanding of the industry, understanding of trade arrangements and organizations in order for us to succeed as western Canadian grain producers.

This cannot be a Liberal patronage appointment, which unfortunately has been shown to happen many times in the past. I am very nervous of that situation. There is no reason why an elected board of directors cannot have the confidence placed in them to appoint and hire a chief executive officer. That is what these amendments speak to. They speak to the point that this chief executive officer should be hired and report to the board of directors who would hire him, not to report to the government and the minister who really have no understanding of what is happening to the Canadian Wheat Board.

I talk about governance. We have the board of directors and a chief executive officer. I have some further concerns when we talk about the current commissioners who are now operating the Canadian Wheat Board. They run under a very sheltered cocoon operation, obviously, having it as a monopoly corporation. It runs basically the same way now as it did in 1943.

I have with me a interview which was done by the current chief commissioner of the Canadian Wheat Board. It was given to the Manitoba Co-operator . I would expect that would be a fairly reasonable source and acceptable source by the members of government. It says Chief Commissioner Lorne Hehn said: “I said to the minister if the board and the minister want me to be there, I will be there for one year but not beyond that', Hehn said after speaking a Manitoba pool annual meeting.I am prepared to do it, be the chief executive officers, but the price has to be right”'.

I have some concerns about that because, quite frankly, what has to be right has to be right for producers and Canadian farmers, not what is right for a chief executive officer or for a minister of the crown. It has to be right so we can put into place the proper marketing measures to compete in a global society right now, to compete in a global marketplace where there is substantial competition.

So that speaks to these amendments, where in fact we should have a fully accountable elected board of directors and an appointed chief executive officer by the board.

Two other motions I would like to touch on. One is Motion No. 8. The reason I bring this up is I originally tabled this motion at committee and then withdrew it. It obviously found its way to the amendments here. I bring it to the attention of the House. It says “—rum at the meetings, which shall be at least two-thirds of the board”. That obviously means quorum, but when I read this I almost had unanimous consent of the committee.

However, the amendment is a legitimate and logical one. It speaks to a quorum being struck for the board of directors. It should be two-thirds board members and a ratio of two elected directors to one appointed director. For every meeting of the board of directors there has to be two elected members to one appointed member and two-thirds of the board present for a quorum. That makes good corporate, business sense.

I will be speaking against an amendment which is obviously not mine. It was an amendment put forward by the hon. member for Peace River. It speaks to the actual election of the board of directors and the criteria people must achieve before they can register a vote for the board of directors.

I understand where the hon. member is coming from because there are large and small producers. All producers should have a vote for the person they wish to have on the board of directors of the Canadian Wheat Board.

We will not be supporting the amendment. I appreciate where it is coming from and I understand why it is there. It has merit but it flies in the face of democracy. It should not be based on the number of bushels produced or the numbers of acres farmed. It should be that farmers and producers have the right to elect the board of directors.

In wrapping up on this section I do not know if the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries would like to be the CEO of the Canadian Wheat Board. He seems to be heading in that direction. I have some concerns with respect to the appointment of the CEO.

In a brief rebuttal, let me say that a number of organizations and people are still very concerned about the inclusion clause. We will have a chance to speak to that in another category that is coming up.